Like veterans, first responders put their lives on the line to protect our communities. They deserve support, yet there is a lack of resources dedicated to them.
Constant exposure to trauma and stressful situations can contribute to issues faced by first responders:
- 75% of police officers have experienced a traumatic event.
- SAMHSA (2018) reports law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS personnel experience suicide, depression, substance use, and PTSD at high rates.
- 37% of fire and EMS personnel thought about suicide.
- ~7% of EMS personnel reported having depression.
- 50% of male firefighters reported heavy or binge drinking in the past month.
- Studies show that PTSD increased as social support decreased for police officers.
In 2022, Upstate Warrior Solution expanded our services to bridge the critical resource gap for first responders. Because of our work with veterans, military members, and their families, we understand the sacrifice first responders make. It is a natural fit to offer our supportive services to first responders as well.
Our First Responder Program seeks to connect Upstate EMS, fire fighters, and law enforcement to critical resources for mental and behavioral health, professional development and career transition, injury and disablement, and stress (critical or otherwise) management and burnout.